For those who are struggling with debt and experiencing harassment from creditors, time is of the essence. This can be especially true when it comes to getting finances back on track and restoring a sense of normalcy to life. You, or someone you know, may be considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy but are unsure about how long the filing process takes.
Typically, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is relatively quick to complete. Your bankruptcy case could be completed and discharged within 3-6 months of filing bankruptcy.
However, there are some important dates that can affect your right to file a case and obtain relief. The following filing timeline illustrates the relevant dates in a typical Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. A bankruptcy attorney can help you see what details may affect your case.
6-8 Years Before Your Bankruptcy
If you received a Chapter 13 or Chapter 12 discharge in a case filed within the previous six years, you will be eligible for a Chapter 7 discharge generally if, in the prior case, you paid at least 70 percent of your allowed unsecured claims, and your plan was proposed in good faith and was your best effort.
You are ineligible for a Chapter 7 discharge until eight years from the date you filed a prior Chapter 7 and received a discharge.
1 Year Before Your Bankruptcy
180 Days Before Your Bankruptcy
If within 180 days before your bankruptcy you had a prior bankruptcy case that was dismissed because you failed to obey court orders or you voluntarily requested a dismissal, then you may not file your bankruptcy case until this 180-day period expires.
Also, within the 180 days before your bankruptcy filing, you must receive an individual or group briefing from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency.
90 Days Before Your Bankruptcy
Your Case is Filed!
15 Days After Your Case is Filed
You have a deadline of 15 days after you file your petition to file certain financial "schedules" with the court-documents declaring your assets, liabilities, expenses, income, and a statement of your affairs. In most case, however, your attorney will file these schedules with your petition.
Approximately 15 Days After Your Case is Filed
Within approximately 15 days after you file your case, the court will mail the Notice of Commencement of Case to you and to all of the creditors listed in your petition. This notice will inform you of the date set by the court for the meeting of your creditors, and the deadlines for your creditors to object to your case and file their claims against you.
Approximately 30 Days After Your Case is Filed
Approximately 3 to 6 Weeks After Your Case is Filed
If your creditors are making your life miserable, bankruptcy may be an option to help restore peace in your life.
Simply fill out the free form on this page to connect with a bankruptcy attorney in your area for a free case evaluation.
So, even if you're unsure whether you should file bankruptcy, a lawyer can take a look at your financial circumstances and advise you about whether bankruptcy is an option for you. The decision to file bankruptcy is a big one, one that doesn't have to be taken alone and without guidance.
Get the facts about Chapter 7 (and Chapter 13) bankruptcy. Fill out the free bankruptcy case evaluation form today.
By: Kevin Chern
The above summary is not legal advice. Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest information on bankruptcy laws, speak to a local bankruptcy lawyer in your state.
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